Do I contradict myself ?
Very well then I contradict myself.
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)” – Walt Whitman
You can call me a hypocrite if you’d like. I don’t care. Anyway, rules are made to be broken. At least that’s what the Catholic Church and the Boy Scouts taught me.
For the past several years whenever friends or family members, or for that matter complete strangers, would say to me something along the lines of, “Oh, I don’t like [name the grape],” my response was always, “well, you might not like the particular wines you’ve tried, but the world is filled with a million different kinds of [name the grape]. I’ll bet there’s one out there that will completely change your mind.”
In other words, don’t condemn an entire variety or region simply because you had bad luck with a wine or two. That’s been my dogma, and one I was not shy about “sharing” with anybody who pushed that particular button. Never pass up a good chance to pontificate, right?
Well, that ship has sailed. Game over. Ain’t no turning back. If you don’t think you like a grape variety or style of wine, I say good for you. Move on. Life’s too short. There are plenty of other grapes to fall in love with. I no longer have any interest in evangelizing for any particular berry flavor. Not my job.
What spurred this Damascene moment? Nothing too dramatic, no actual lightning bolts or celestial intervention. Just a few sips of a well made gewürztraminer, after which I decided, well, that’s it for this grape. No more. Nada. Done.
I’ve swilled the cheap, sweet, and poorly made plonks, and I’ve sipped the samplings from some very good producers. And I’ve decided, finally, that I just don’t like the stuff. One man’s meat is another man’s poison and all that rot.
I can already hear some of you licking your spittle-whitened gobs, ready to pounce and tell me just how wrong I am. “Oh, but you’ve never had Bob’s gewurz. It’s simply divine,” or, “You know, in Alsace blah blah blah, it’s more about blah blah blah.” Enough. Save your breath. The big G is no longer in my crayon box. Cut from the team. Banished.
But it’s so good with Asian food. Just stop. Please.
I guess you don’t like complex and aromatic whites that much, eh? Please. I asked you to stop.
I’m going to invoke Frank Morgan and Tim Hanni, MW, and legions of like-minded people for back-up here. We all should drink what we like, and my tastes are my tastes and what you say isn’t really relevant. You like those spices and aromas? Great. Here, you can have mine.
Sure, maybe someday I’ll find myself in Alsace, Alto Adige, or some other gewürztraminer-crazed place and some winsome and wonderful white will have its way with me. But until then, see ya later Gee. I’m unfriending you.
What grapes have you unfriended, or perhaps even blocked? Are there are a few you’d like to say adios to but just can’t muster the courage? I say go for it. It doesn’t matter what anybody else thinks.
**James Thurber/E. B. White cartoon reprinted without permission of The New Yorker/Conde Nast
**Image of Walt Whitman reprinted without permission of The Atlantic magazine
**Image of the aforementioned variety obtained via Wikipedia
**The book is property of The Grape Belt. Required reading for all new staff members